Wednesday, April 06, 2005

What's In It For Me

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by Michael Domeck
April 05, 2005

I'm sure most, if not all of you, have heard the term "sell the sizzle, not the steak". But what does that REALLY mean?

In any market your potential prospects have only one thing in mind. "What's in it for me", more commonly known as WIIFM (or problem solving). If you're selling anything, be it a product or a service, you must understand this buyers' phenomenon.

Think about the last thing you bought that you were shopping for. What was the ONE thing that made you finally decide to buy that particular product?

Granted - the product must be a good one, and the quality of your product, or service, is important. But this is not what gets a buyer's interest - or rarely, what actually makes the final sale.

Why is product "X" selling on one website for twice as much as other websites? This should be proof that sizzle can sell more steaks than anything else.

People don't buy products or services. People will only buy benefits that benefit them! If you're selling an opportunity, people want to know realistically how much they can make and how easy is it to accomplish the perceived goals.

The hype of hundreds of dollars a month, OR a day, will definitely fall on deaf ears. What happens then is Click - they are gone. Why?

Because people secretly and truly believe this is an unrealistic goal. You must point out the benefits someone will receive.

However, when you make these kinds of outlandish claims, buyers will click away before you can say dollars!

Another point to remember: you will get busted by the FTC and hit with major fines by making these outlandish claims. Let me illustrate a point to you.

For years I sold Data and Telcom systems to medium and large businesses. These Data and Telephone systems costs from $40,000 to $500,000 dollars - each. Many times the buyer would call in the top two or three vendors for a final presentation to top management.

When it came my turn I would present a list of benefits, based on the customer's actual needs. I discovered what these needs were during my research phase so they were real and not "perceived". I never talked about the hardware except to point out that it would fulfill the customer's specifications.

The other salespeple would sell very hard on why their hardware was the best. They would go into all the techno babble - the "bits, bytes and BS" - as my boss would call it. They would give reason after reason why their equipment was the best for the customer and why they HAD to buy it. If they did point out any benfits it was usually as an afterthought.

At least 90% of every one of my presentations was based on the benefits. Benefits that would be derived from purchasing my solution. In 9 out of 10 cases I won the contract. Most of the time I was even the higher priced solution.

Here's what I actually did:
I solved a problem(s). I spent very little time or effort on the actual hardware specifications - I simply drove home the benefits of what my proposed solution would do for the customer.

If you are going to do any business at all you must let your prospects know you can meet their needs. Whatever product you're selling - it's irrelevant to the buyer how it's made, who designed it, or even how it was designed. All the buyer cares about knowing is "What's In It For Me" (WIIFM). Putting it bluntly, you MUST show the buyer the benefits they will get by dealing with you. The benefit you are offering over one of the other ten people selling virutally the same thing.

If you're selling a business opportunity or an affiliate program, like so many other sites, why should the customer buy from you. What makes your offer different?

If you ever hope to succeed you must understand this buying issue and properly address it. Read the ads of others promoting the same thing? Don't they all say virtually the same thing? Are some of the sites different?

I can tell you - VERY FEW, if any, will be! If you look at the really successful netrepreneurs you will see that their sales pages are NOT the same old affiliate pages that everyone else has. They push benefits and more benefits.

And people wonder why they fail so miserably at the varied programs they try to sell and promote. They get What's In It for Them - NOTHING!

Analyze your offer - get your friends to look at it and tell you what turns them off about the offer. What can you do that others are not doing to make your offer better?

Here's a scary thought:
Actually BUY the product you're promoting and read through and study the material. Write a report about what the offer actually gives the customer - the benefits. Take the report and turn it into an outline. What benefits do you now see from using the product?

If it's a service, or an affiliate program, study the program and do the same thing. What can the program, or service, do for the customer. What are its benefits?

Can a benefit be that you will help them? Can you give them a written one - two - three type guide to get them started? Or what else can you do to help them that others are not offering to do?

Almost everyone who is trying a program like this will need a lot of hand holding, help and guidance. If you can promise, and deliver this, you have a 1,000 times better chance of winning a customer than someone who doesn't. If you can't do this get your sponsor to help you - it's to their benefit also.

If you are in the market for a DVD player what is the main function you are looking for? Given the fact that it has:
- Dolby 5.1 technology
- handles up to 10 DVD's
- has "S" video jacks and
- a multi function remote is all well and good.

Those may all be features that would be nice to have. But what you really want is to be able to play any DVD movie through your TV. Right?

To be successful you must be able to figure out what your potential buyers are really looking for. While they may be looking to buy some "steak", it will be the "sizzle" that actually sells them your brand of steak.

Michael Domeck is the editor of the Beacon News and has been marketing on the Internet for over 3 years. He consults with clients on Internet marketing for Home based businesses. His site is

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